Japan, TV Dramas and Film Theory

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This post is just a personal note.

As some of you know, I am now in Japan. That’s not unusual, because I spend every summer in this country. But this time I will be here for a year, the first full year I will spend in Japan since 2009-2010. I have taken advantage of one term of earned leave from Yale and combined it with a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies (see my page here) to give me twelve months (plus a bit more) in Japan to do research and writing. It will also be nice to experience Japanese falls, and springs, and Oshogatsu. I’ll also do a little traveling to Kansai and other spots.

The main plan is to finish my book on the history of Japanese film theory. I’ve done a lot of research, as well as presented aspects of it on multiple occasions (herehere, here, here, here, here, here, etc.), but there is still research that needs to be done in Japan. I also need the time to write it all up. 

So even though I will be in Japan, I will mostly be in libraries or at home writing. But I do intend to go out once in a while to watch movies and attend special events. I will definitely be at the Yamagata Film Festival, and will try to attend others festivals like Tokyo FilmEx. I may also give a talk here and there. 

So hopefully I will upload a few posts every now and then about what’s in Japan. 

As the first of these, I wanted to note that the exhibition on the history of Japanese TV dramas at the Waseda Theatre Museum is entering into its final week (the photo is of the front of the building). It provides a good summary of the history of the form, with a spotlight on the screenwriter Yamada Daichi in a parallel exhibit. I loved how they used TVs from each era to show clips from featured dramas. The exhibition closes on August 6, along with the Museum, which will be closed for over seven months for renovations. That is bad news for me since it would have been my primary site for doing research. (I wish they could have continued allowing researchers to request materials, like Yale’s Beinecke did when it closed down for renovations.)

Go now before it is too late!

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